Ode: Tempus Vernum

Ode: Tempus Vernum is a love letter.

Every spring for as long as I can remember there are days I look outside and feel a tug somewhere in my chest and I know it’s time. Time to go chase clouds across the Mojave, or get up some new mountain road, or down some narrow trail through some canyon. To get lost. To be happily alone in the wilderness.

Some time ago I started taking photos of those days, and soon after, timelapses.

Timelapsed images show me a dance in the springtime between the sky and the Earth. A dance so slow you can’t see it with your eyes. It has to be captured, quietly, in stillness: one frame at a time. And the large swaths of space in between are dedicated to discovering the next dance:  The plan, the drive, the climb, the shoot, the edit. Repeat. The random weekend turned into every weekend. Three hour drives there and back or quick overnight trips 500 miles away became the norm. And flights to adventure somewhere completely wild has become a lifestyle.

Tempus Vernum is the first of two massive timelapse projects I have been working on for the better part of two years. The locations range from the Anza Borrego desert just a handful of miles from the Mexico border all the way up to Alaska’s Katmai National Park.

Alongside my primal need for exploration, I’m endlessly fascinated by weather systems in California. For a few weeks of the year in mid-to-lower California even the smallest amounts of rain can translate into enormous, inconceivable blooms of unimaginable beauty. The air becomes sticky sweet with the scent of a billion flowers and vibrates with insects of all shapes and sizes. The mountain streams begin to run down into the valleys again. Everything turns from yellow to green almost overnight.

And the glory of the Eastern Sierra: I spend hours staring quietly at them, in tribute at the base of the range in awe of spires of granite giving way to slate. Spiking almost 14,000 feet in just two or three short miles from the base, they command their own weather systems.  High meadows and canyons winding their way through the range have a delicate permanence, telling a story that started 40 million years ago.

I will never understand it. I will never want to.

The Sierras owe their shape and form to the very same ice that extended all the way up to Alaska in the last great ice age and it was a dream of mine to capture the Aleutian Range. A place so pristine and wild it is incomprehensible, and where the dance of spring takes on its own rhythm.

This is my love. This is my love letter.

P.S. Please make sure this love letter is in HD/1080p on the viewer settings.

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2 Responses to Ode: Tempus Vernum

  1. Me says:

    Stephanie, that was so beautiful! The Tahoe area is my favorite thing inthe whole world and you captured it beautifully

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